- Common Names: Sun conure, sun parakeet
- Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis
- Adult Size: 12 inches
- Life Expectancy: 25 to 30 years
The sun conure is a playful, amusing bird that enjoys athletic tricks. These birds are smart, interactive, and easily trained. In general, it is a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is gentle to all members of the family as long as it’s treated well.
Sun Conure Cage Set-Up
- Sun conures need a cage large enough for them to stretch their wings, climb, and play. About twice the size of their wingspan, but the bigger the cage the better.
- Your sun conure cage should include at least two perches of different heights, thickness, and texture (including natural branches, if possible). These variations help keep your sun conure’s feet healthy. Your bird should be able to move between the perches easily.
- Do not put perches over food or water dishes. The birds’ droppings will contaminate the food and water.
- Birds are sensitive to strong smells, smoke, and drafts. Keep your lovebird’s cage away from the kitchen and away from windows.
- Cover the cage at night — your sun conure needs their rest.
- Most sun conures do best on a light/dark cycle. This cycle helps to approximate their natural conditions.
- Cushion the floor of the cage with a corncob layer, or aspen, wood-pellet, or recycled-paper bedding or use a liner.
- You’ll need to remove droppings frequently.
- Spot-clean the bottom liner or bedding weekly, and replace it entirely once a month.
About the Sun Conure
Brilliantly colorful, intelligent, friendly, and loaded with personality, the sun conure has long been popular among families fond of companion birds. The bird is not without assertiveness, though; it can turn aggressive suddenly if provoked.
Owners should prepare, this bird one of the loudest of all the medium-sized parrots. They are not a good starter bird since they require a lot of consistent training, daily interaction, and constant socialization to keep them tame and well-behaved.
Like all parrots, sun conures are social birds that need a considerable amount of interaction with their human owners to be happy. This bird is uniquely suited for those who want a bird for steady companionship.
Origin and History
The sun conure is native to northeastern South America, including Venezuela, northern Brazil, and Guyana.
The sun conure found mostly in inland tropical habitats, also may inhabit dry savanna woodlands and coastal forests. They usually inhabit fruiting trees and palm groves.
Speech and Vocalizations
Sun conures express excitement and fear with shrill screams, and they are not shy birds. They will let you know vocally if they are bored or if their needs neglected. This bird is not suitable for apartment or condo dwellers.
While the sun conure is not known for their talking ability, some birds demonstrate an uncanny ability to mimic other types of sounds, such as doorbells, microwave buzzers, and telephone chimes.
Diet and Nutrition
- Sun conures, like other parrots, should be fed a variety of foods. They do best on a formulated, balanced pellet diet supplemented with fruits, leafy greens, and root vegetables.
- Slightly steamed sweet potatoes are an excellent food for your pet conure.
- You can give them an unlimited amount of pellet food; they will only eat what they need. As for fresh fruits and veggies, offer about a 1/8 to 1/4 cup in the morning and at night.
- Like other companion birds, a sun conure needs and appreciates treats, so make healthy choices for snacks.
- Nuts and seeds are always the right choices for an occasional treat. Walnuts and almonds are excellent selections.
- Your sun conure should have access to a cuttlebone or a mineral block at all times to help keep their beaks healthy.
- Your sun conure must have fresh water at all times.
Like all parrots, the sun conure is very active and needs adequate space to fly, explore, and play. Your sun conure should be allowed at least 3 hours out of the cage each day.
Foraging and other forms of enrichment are essential for these intelligent birds. Make sure to provide the bird with a variety of exciting toys and change them at regular intervals to prevent your pet from growing bored.
Like other conures and parrots, the sun conure can be prone to feather picking. More often than not, this is a sign that the bird is bored or is not receiving the attention it needs. Try some new toys. New toys may snap them out of their boredom and spark a behavior change. If you notice any of these signs of illness or distress, contact a veterinarian who treats birds:
- Decreased appetite or weight loss.
- Decreased activity or grooming.
- Feathers fluffed up for a long time.
- Long periods sitting at the bottom of the enclosure.
- Discharge from nose or mouth.
- Change in droppings for more than two days.
- Use caution when handling pets and remember they may bite or scratch (especially when stressed).
- Supervise children around pets.
- ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
- Adults should assist children with handwashing after contact with a pet, its habitat, or aquarium water.
- Social, affectionate, and cuddly
- Intelligent, can be taught tricks
- One of the most vibrantly colored birds
- Noisy, not well-suited for apartments or close neighbors
- Not known for its talking ability
- Can get nippy around children if provoked